I did fully intend to stay out of this, mainly due to my nice new job, but I read this and thought I should post it.
1. People think the NHS is expensive. It's not, the British spend less per head on state healthcare than any other G7 nation. That includes the US where you're thrown in a skip if you can't afford a simple prescription.
2. People think NHS staff are overpaid. They're not. Permanent staff get far less than any private equivalents that I know. Even contractors get about 1/2 to 1/3 of their private equivalents. I thought there were typos when I saw how little some of the staff underneath me were paid.
3. "but they get increments!". Erm... there's a reason why the current system exists, it's to reflect the experience band from bottom to top of a role, as you gain experience you move up the band. The band itself must move with inflation, at least, or it really means people lose income.
4. "1% is all we can afford". Really? The economy is expected to grow at 3% this year and wages have gone down 15% in real terms in the last 5 years. Maybe, as the Governor of the Bank of England bluntly said, it's time to start paying workers more again to catch up that deficit. Also, how much did MPs get paid as a pay rise?
5. "Competition is what the NHS needs". No, it isn't. It's just amplified the problems by turning the UK's largest company into thousands of small ones, all with the buying power of small companies rather than one large beast that can dictate terms. The NHS needed reorganisation, but what it needed was effective management at a regional and national level.
6. "There are too many managers". No, there aren't. There are one hell of a lot of director level managers in the NHS who get paid less than middle managers in the private sector but with twice to three times the responsibility and half the effective support. The brakes that are put on innovation by central government are just staggering and really stop the good managers from making a difference.
I could go on but it's bed time...